My husband and I went to the beach on a lovely, sunny summer day. We put our blanket down next to a little kid and his grandmother, who was very nice. This little boy was a riot. He had a little yellow pail, and ran with it down to the water to scoop up one of the little fish that were schooling in the shallows. He was so excited when he caught one. He anxiously carried the pail back to where we were, sat down, and watched it swimming around in the little pail full of seawater. He was transfixed. In fact, he was so happy that he practically stuck his face in the pail and yelled “AAAAAAAAAUUUUUUUUUGGGGGHHHH” at the top of his lungs. After that, as most kids do, he soon became bored with his new toy and began rooting around for other things to occupy himself. In the process, without realizing it, he kicked the bucket over and the fish spilled out on to the sand with the water. Unfortunately none of us noticed it until it was too late. When the little boy realized what had happened, he came up to me and my husband and said to us: “A fish has died.” We and his grandmother burst out laughing. It seems as though humans are born knowing how to evade guilt. How did a 3- or 4-year old boy come up with that? It was very clever.

Yoga, Deep Breathing and the Brain –.

Last night, at the CUNY Graduate Center in Manhattan, I attended a screening of a wonderful documentary by Richard and Carole Rifkind entitled “Naturally Obsessed: The Making of a Scientist”. This film documented the path and travails of 3 graduate students who were lucky enough to be in the laboratory of Dr. Lawrence Shapiro at Columbia University’s College of Physicians & Surgeons in New York City. The beauty and clarity with which the film was shot made the graduate student experience feel as real as any film could. As someone who got her PhD in developmental and molecular biology from another well known biomedical research institution, I felt that the experiences of the students featured in the film were prettier than my own (mine was particularly harrowing), but in many ways, the film was dead on. (more…)

I have always loved animals. When I was about 3 years old, I was fascinated with a beautiful collie that lived in my building. This dog did not like people, but I loved him. I distinctly remember one day running around him, hugging, petting and talking to him, and I remember hearing him growl (he was taller than me), but for some reason, he put up with the unwanted attention. I only remember being acquainted with him that one time – I think after that, my Mom and his owner colluded to keep me away from him. (more…)

Currently on view at the New York Academy of Sciences Art Gallery is an exhibit of the molecular illustrations of Kenneth Eward. I followed the links to Kenneth’s website and found one of the most captivating animated illustrations of the molecular development of human life. His “A Window Into Human Life” won an honorable mention at the 2008 Science and Engineering Visualization Challenge, sponsored by the National Science Foundation.

We are living at a truly monumental moment in history, as we stand on the brink of what will probably be one of the most important presidential elections in all of United States history. The air is absolutely crackling with the anticipation of the election of the first African American President of the United States of America. (more…)

According to the diagnostic test in the ground-breaking book The Highly Sensitive Person by Elaine Aron, Ph.D., I am a “Highly Sensitive Person” (HSP). In her book, Dr. Aron, a pioneering psychologist, cites major studies demonstrating that approximately 15-20% of the human population possess a nervous system that, due to genetically inherited physiological characteristics, cause them to experience greatly heightened sensitivity to stress in any environment they find themselves in. This inherited trait of heightened arousal is demonstrated also in similar proportions (15-20%) in several other mammalian species. In other words, highly sensitive individuals are much more easily aroused by subtle cues in their environment, which many people are less likely to pick up on. (more…)


Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 1,575 other followers